Art Dice and the Creative Confidence Book

art dice and creative confidence

Do you have Creative Confidence? Do you think that some people are just born more creative, or do you believe that we can learn to become more creative? In the newly released creativity and innovation-boosting book, Creative Confidence, authors David and Tom Kelley not only explain that creative super-powers lie within each of us, but they go on to share actionable tools for … [Read more...]

Failure is Not Trying

failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently

"Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently." - Henry Ford What do you think about failure? Do you encourage your child to make mistakes? Do you celebrate attempts to try new things? Do you share your own failed attempts freely with your child? Last night was Back to School Night at my new kindergartener's school. The principal gave a motivating … [Read more...]

Bird Seed Sensory Box

Birdseed Sensory Box Activity for Toddlers and Preschoolers

I'm always happy to have cheap, simple, educational, and entertaining activities for my kids, and I know a lot of teachers who feel the same way. How about you? I learned this bird seed trick from one of my daughter's first preschool teachers, and I'm happy to pass it along to you. Bird Seed Sensory Box Step 1: Pour in the bird seed. Tip #1: Do this outside. Bird … [Read more...]

10 Ways to Have Creative Fun with your Kids this Summer

10 Ways to have Creative Fun with your kids this summer | Tinkerlab

“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”   - Henry James, Author Today is the last day of school for my kids before the start of summer. Not only is summer a school-free time for many children, but it can also mean warm weather, long car trips, digging up lots of beach sand, and long empty … [Read more...]

Simple Matching Sticker Game

Matching Sticker Game from Tinkerlab

The human brain is an incredible pattern-matching machine.  - Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com Matching objects or shapes is a skill that can help children in so many areas of their lives. The process of matching images and symbols is a precursor to matching combinations of letters to words, and this, of course, is a pre-reading skill. Matching is also useful for developing … [Read more...]

How to Make a Paper Airplane

paper airplane table set up

Have you ever made a paper airplane? Did you learn how to make it from a book? Or maybe it was from the kid you shared a desk with in the third grade? I fall into the second camp, learning from my friends in school. And for all of the hundreds of airplanes we made, not one of them truly soared the way I expected it to. How to make a paper airplane Well guess what? Today … [Read more...]

Inspired by Nature: Four Easy Steps to Follow a Child’s Interests

Inspired by Nature: wasp nest and bumble bee art

Do you have bees, birds, squirrels, deer, possum, or other creatures milling around your neighborhood? It's been wild animal week here at Casa Tinkerlab. We had two big discoveries at our house: a wasp nest in the eaves by our back door and a bird nest tucked into a hole along the siding of our house. Sad story, we found the bird nest on the ground today, and all of the … [Read more...]

Make a Simple Room Fort

How to build a simple kids fort with tape and a sheet

Hello Tinker-firends! I've been busy with some family business and book edits that are taking a toll on my late-night blogging time. How are you doing? Until I get a better handle on these details I thought I'd share some quick snippets of tinkering inspiration from our days at home and out-and-about. Today we have a down-and-dirty favorite from my husband, our resident … [Read more...]

Vegetable-Dyed Easter Eggs

Dye for Easter Eggs

Have you ever thought about making vegetable dyed Easter eggs? I'm trying to make a move away from synthetic food dyes and wanted to use natural, homemade dyes this year. Not only are these colors absolutely healthy for human consumption, but the process of making them is a wonderful lesson in creating art materials from scratch and can help children think critically … [Read more...]